Friday, November 21, 2008

Letter to my son's girlfriend's parents

Dear Chad and Jody,
It was so good to meet you both last night.

But I feel I must apologize.

We find we are just so happy to have Josiah's girlfriend, Ashley moving in with our daughter Amy. She has become a part of all our lives in a short time and so we find ourselves overcompensating for our weaknesses and shortcomings.

Last night's dinner was supposed to be at our house, but our kitchen cupboards are still laying all around the house contributing to the general feeling of disarray. (And no, Caroline, duct tape WILL NOT hold them on for any length of time and that IS NOT a design statement I want to make.)

So we invited you to Plan B: a noisy, smoky Mexican restaurant where the waiters kept plunking beaded, glittery sombreros on customers' heads and bursting into a maniacal version of a Spanish Happy Birthday song. We were scared, too.

Seriously. How many times did they sing that song last night? How many people actually celebrated their birthday at LaCarretta in Gresham last night? A dozen? Two?

I'm sorry that you had to fear for your life when the waiters came swinging through with their sizzling platters of Fajitas. No stray ember or flaming bits of pork singed your hair, Jody. I checked.

I'm sorry for allowing Chantry and Renick, (Josiah's young cousins) to welcome Ashley to Oregon with their litany of Blond jokes. Did you notice that they are always the "brown-head's" of the jokes and seem to come out in a much better light than the blonds?Yes we, did too.

I am so sorry if Amy offended Ashley by "staking a claim" on Aunt Brenda with her hugs and PDA's when they came by the table. She was just making sure that there will be no rift in their relationship when another sweet, blond shorty spends time in the 'hood.

I apologize that for the look of shock and dismay on my face when Ashley mentioned my "Steve Madden" shoes that I wore to a wedding last summer. Excuse me, but those are exquisite Ann Taylor shoes, Ashley.

I think I recovered quite nicely though. You can still borrow them. See, I can forgive almost anything.

I so apologize for offending you when, after seeing Ashley's new closet at Amy's house, Rod told everyone at the table that it looked like Ashley worked at a clothing store AND THEN ROBBED THEM. I'm sorry we laughed so hard about it.
We know she didn't steal anything. Really. She just likes loves lives for clothing. We get that.

I apologize for trying to make a good first impression. And by that, I mean a false impression. Deceitful, even.
You know that little welcome bag of Oregon treats and tidbits I put together for Ash to make her feel wanted, welcome and less homesick? Well, I completely stole that idea from a friend/family member. (thanks, Rainy)
Wow. Didn't know how great it would feel to be looked upon as thoughtful and creative for the first time in my life.
So nice. Wrong, but nice.

If I wasn't trying to make a positive first impression AND make Ashley feel welcomed, I never would have attempted the cute Oregon welcome bag, with the Douglas Fir bough complete with pine cones AND the printed legend of the fox and the mouse. (honestly, wasn't it adorable?)

No, I would have brought you all home, rummaged through the door less cupboards for some grub, parked myself on the most comfortable spot on the sofa and stared silently just hoping one of you knew how to make coffee and would offer me some because my head still hurt.
That is how I really roll.
When I am not attempting to be someone else and make a good first impression.
So I apologize.

Mostly, we apologize for "stealing" your daughter away to another state like this, especially with Thanksgiving next week.

Chad, I'm sorry that Ashley introduced you to us as her "Dad." This was obviously as huge mistake and should never be repeated in our presence. You are and always will be, her Daddy.
We won't let her forget again.

I'm sorry I showed so much excitement that she had arrived, when I know you must have been having a tough time of it.

But here is the deal that makes it all worth it to me.
The look on my son's face. I don't see that look too often.
Here he is on Christmas morning when he was four or five. Granted, he was opening clothes, and he doesn't like or appreciate clothes like Ashley does. :-)

I'm not gonna try to describe what his face looked like when he opened his first Nintendo console when he was nine or so. I'll just say this is the closest it has come:

You guys raised a great daughter and we are blessed to have her here amongst our family. We'll take good care of her.
Diane and Rod

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I didn't know what I was missing

This year a couple of friends and I decided to form a bible study/accountability group. There are just three of us and we know each other well. You all know one of these women as My Reader Brenda. The Other Woman (that sounds so ominous) is Jen, and I am wishing I had a picture of them to put up here right now. Ahhhh, I have one.

I should have done this smaller group thing YEARS AGO. This is good stuff.

These two women speak truth into my life. Do you even know how important that is? It is like when I can't see out of the forest, they can see which direction I should go and give me scripture to guide my steps.

In a larger group, I have found that you tend to be....well, more polite. In our small group, we cut to the chase.

Because we all know each other that well, and love each other no matter what.

Have you noticed I am blessed by these women in this group?

We pray, cry, laugh, talk, read, study,encourage,uplift,point each other in the right direction and saw moulding together. Doesn't every small group?

(This is Bren and Jen at an actual wedding...not at our Wedding at Cana bible study)

I used to think I could stay up on my mountain with only my man and my dogs for company, wogging with Jesus every day. But He has given me more than that.

Thanks, my friends. See ya Tuesday. Oh, and it is not very fair that I post a picture of you and not one of myself, too.
Here is my most recent photo as I pray for you and your partying ways.

Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Proverbs 25 :12
To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Random thoughts in no particular order

I believe that is the actual meaning of particular order.

What an attention grabber that title is.

Woo! Some publishing company, or whoever writes titles for books, should snatch me up quick. I'm witty. And quite knowledgeable, obviously.

I haven't written for awhile so to break back into the blogging I came up with this following post:

Random thoughts from this morning. In no particular order. Fascinating. Really.

While I was jogging +walking =wogging: I sure hope no one buys this vacant house. I really enjoy jogging on their property and if someone lives here, they might kick me off. That could get ugly.

Still while wogging: Boy, if a bear attacked me right now, I kinda wished someone lived closer, like in that vacant house so they could come help me when they heard my screams for help. Kind of the classic catch-22. What ever that even means.

Still wogging: I wonder if my Reader Brenda is wogging right now. I should go faster. Or wog further. I should feel some sort of wogging competition well up within me...


Still wogging: my ipod "songs for running" folder is maybe a little too random as I go from these lyrics: "Oh what I would do to have the kind of faith to climb out of this boat I'm in, and into the crashing step out of my comfort zone into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is, and He's holding out His hands...etc.

To these lyrics:

"I need you,Boo....I gotta see you Boo... and the hearts all over the world tonight...said the hearts all over the world tonight...Hey Little Mama,ooh you're a stunner....etc..."

Both of these are wog-worthy. But still. I should organize.

While showering after wogging: gee this is really minty fresh conditioner! Hope it isn't mouth wash. Hope it works. Hope my hair stops falling out.

Looking at hundreds 27 half painted cupboard doors laying strewn around the house as though "Trading Spaces" had exploded here during the weekend: Gosh, I hope those hinges get here today so we can install these doors BEFORE we meet Josiah's girlfriend's parents for the FIRST time HERE Wednesday night. That would be rather awkward for me as I try to convince myself that it doesn't doesn't just doesn't matter...

(Here is our dining room table, covered by a few newly painted cupboard doors. The color is called "Mission Tile" not "Bozo's Hair: The Early Years.")

Still looking: Wonder if I can cover up that enamel paint smell with a nice,warm Chicken Tortilla Soup?
Dare I hope that Ashley's parents are handy with a paint brush and screwdriver?

Thanks for visiting. I'll be back soon. Promise.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

May the Road Rise Up to Meet Ye

In this case, it is an Irish curse, not a blessing. I have a bonny condition known as Vestibular neuronitis which causes the lovely and abrupt onset of vertigo.

What is vertigo, you ask?

It is like you are riding a cool roller-coaster ride all the time. Without having to pay for it. And without the actual coaster. Or the fun.

It is when you walk about as if you have been drinking again.

It feels as though the spinning, it JUST WON'T STOP.

Please, road, stop all the rising up to greet me. Just stay where you are.

Rolling waves of nausea. They also rise up to greet me.

I always knew I hated sailing.

Dr. Grise just says to lay in bed with my eyes closed until it resolves itself. This has been since Thursday and although they are not quite ready to read a book or all my back log of blogs yet, my eyes are ready to be open.

Good things:

*I saved.

While Rod has been out hunting these last ten days, I should have been doing the female equivalent and been shopping. This is what I do.

*And I change decor. (I really use that term "decor" loosely. Ask my Reader Brenda.) But I think I finally figured out what color to paint my kitchen cabinets after really studying the Terra cotta tiles very closely. For about an hour. While I couldn't move.

*Rod will be home soon. Today!
*This incident gave my sis-in-law Tam a chance to drop a few incidents, showcasing the differences in our lives. Like this one:
Tam:Oh, this reminds of that time when I had altitude sickness from mountain climbing. Boy, was I sick!"
Me: retch-groan...
Tam:No, on second thought, this is more like when we were moving from one African country to another and I couldn't help because I was so dizzy. No doctor could pinpoint exactly what the problem was. They ran test after test...
Me: groan-whine-retch
Tam: No, wait! This totally reminds me of that time when we were rafting down the Nile River and I....
Okay, I added that last one in, but Tam would have added it if she could have figured out a way to seamlessly segue. Notice how she contracts glamorous conditions in exotic locals and I have a glorified pimple in my ear while laying on our StainMaster polymer? What is up with that?
Did I mention she is going to Switzerland in January? Gee, I hope she doesn't break a leg. Although, it would be a great story to use against me later. :-)

*I know that there is an end in sight. This made me empathize with my mother in law who is house bound, and in pain every day. The phone calls of encouragement meant so much to me, as did the warm meal that my wonderful niece made. My son and daughter who rushed up to make sure I was alive....or put their name's on things they wanted after I'm gone. Well. Whatever.